His Olympic dreams shattered, one of Indian boxing’s most popular names - M Suranjoy Singh (52kg) - thought of quitting the sport after losing in the Asian Qualifiers’ second round last month, but decided to keep going after hearing the national anthem at a medal ceremony.
Suranjoy was one of India’s strongest contenders for a London Olympics berth this year but the 26—year—old missed out in both the qualifying chances, losing to the same opponent twice.
“I was very disturbed when I lost in the Asian Qualifiers. I thought of quitting because this was the third time in a row that I was missing out on an Olympic berth,” the Commonwealth Games gold—medallist told PTI on the sidelines of a promotional event to mark 100 days to London Olympics here on Wednesday.
“It was during one of the medal ceremonies during the Asian Qualifiers, I was just listening to our national anthem, sitting gloomily because I am not used to being on the sidelines when a medal ceremony is on. I am generally on the podium,” an emotional Suranjoy said recalling the medal ceremonies of gold medal winners Shiva Thapa (56kg) and Sumit Sangwan (81kg) during the Asian Qualifiers.
“I just went out after a while in a very disturbed state of mind, thought to myself that may be this is it but then somehow, I came back to the arena, listened to the national anthem and decided that I have to give myself another chance,” said the boxer, who clinched seven back—to—back international gold medals in 2010.
“I don’t see myself in the Olympics again, but certainly in next year’s World Championships, I will be there and after that I will see what I have to do,” Suranjoy said.
The Manipuri, who is headed to Mumbai for treatment on his knee which has been troubling him for some while now, said he has no clue why he keeps losing to Mongolia’s Tugstsogt Nyambayar.
“I just don’t know what happens. I beat everyone but then I lose to him all the time. It’s a jinx. I have tried different tactics against him but it hasn’t worked,” he said.
“But no excuses, I didn’t have a very good feeling about my body when I went to the Asian Qualifiers. Now, I would go back to school, compete in inter—services, nationals and chart out my comeback,” he said.
Also part of Suranjoy’s future plans is a boxing academy somewhere in the interiors of his troubled state.
“My academy would be in a remote village because there are enough in the cities. The village youth also need good facilities and my academy will try and provide that to them,” said Suranjoy.
Suranjoy heaped praise on the the three teens - L Devendro Singh (49kg), Shiva Thapa (56kg) and Sumit Sangwan (81kg) - who have qualified for the Olympics.
“These youngsters have been exceptional. Their training has been good and they have delivered to their potential,” said the boxer, pals with both Devendro and Shiva who take tips from him and even spar with him occasionally at the national camp.